tv Nightly Business Report PBS November 11, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
[applause] >> i think triple-digit oil is something that is in everyone's mind right now. >> susie: but in reality, oil prices are trading in double digits, just under $90 a barrel. experts predict crude could top $100 next year. you're watching "nightly business report" on veteran's day, thursday, november 11. this is "nightly business report" with susie gharib and tom hudson. "nightly business report" is made possible by:
two-year highs, inching towards $90. experts predict crude could reach $100 a barrel as next year. scott gurvey reports. >> reporter: nymex crude hit a 25-month high in electronic trading early today, then retreated to settle unchanged. but while traders may have decided to lock in some short term gains, experts say the recent oil price gusher is for real. chinese demand is a big reason. the chinese government today reported refineries in that country processed a record volume of oil in october. the chinese thirst for oil has been growing along with its economy. but oil trader ray carbone says there's more to the story than china. >> we have seen china be a big part of the rally back from the lows of march of 2009. but what were seeing now, which has spurred oil to these two year highs, is really some very
good numbers coming out of the u.s., some demand strength that we haven't seen, and some eating away of that overhang of inventory. >> reporter: that domestic demand indicates an increase in industrial activity, in spite of the sluggish economy. but energy analyst stephen gengaro says not all components of the energy sector are participating in the rally. >> our internal team has a natural gas forecast for 2011 of about $4.60. that's really based on fair value and displacement with coal. so we see the gas markets in the u.s. in oversupply, with coal really acting as a price driver of gas, near-term. >> reporter: so, for now, crude is the place to be. crude broke a key technical level yesterday, and today, both opec and the international energy agency said they expect continued growth in global energy demand. that means continued upward pressure on prices. >> i think we're seeing demand come back slowly into the u.s. we know the emerging market demand is there. china had a record import month
for petroleum products last month. i expect that to continue. so, i think triple-digit oil is something that is in everyone's minds right now. >> reporter: the price of gasoline and home heating oil is expected to follow the price of crude. gasoline demand is normally reduced in winter, while the demand for heating oil will depend on how cold it gets. scott gurvey, "nightly business report," new york. >> susie: here are the stories in tonight's "n.b.r. newswheel." stocks closed lower, dragged down by cisco's discouraging outlook that we told you about last night. the dow fell 74 points, the nasdaq lost 23, and the s&p 500 off five. big board trading volume fell below a billion shares, but rose to 2.5 billion shares on the nasdaq. differences over trade and currency hang over the g-20 summit in seoul, south korea. the meeting was billed as a chance to hammer out those conflicts. but so far, the countries haven't even agreed on an agenda, let alone solutions to
the problems dividing them. here in the u.s., mortgage rates continue to fall. freddie mac says the average rate for 30-year fixed loans hit 4.17%, down from 4.24%. the average rate for 15-year fixed loans, 3.57%. and the number of homes repossessed by lenders last month dropped 9%. that's the sharpest margin so far this year. but it's not because fewer people are losing their homes. the drop comes because major lenders stopped foreclosures amid allegations they were improperly handled. still ahead-- calling all night owls. how some community colleges are suggestions about reducing
>> susie: bob, people have been debating and talking about reforming social security for years. but it just seems that democrats and republicans aren't ready to tackle this issue. what are the chances that congress this time around long-term discipline. if you look at the u.s. budget, there are only three big items,e
easy, i think there's a real chance at this point. >> susie: a lot of senior citizens will say cut some place else, why mess with social you plan. this is a long-term proposal over 75 years. >> susan: all right. and i'm sure it's going t >> susie: we've been talking with robert pozen at mfs investment management.
>> susie: the world's two largest cruise ships will soon be together for the first time. royal caribbean's newest ship, the "allure of the seas," arrived in fort lauderdale today. on saturday, it will meet up with the "oasis of the seas" off the coast of florida. the "allure" officially sets sail in december, starting service in a better economic climate than the one that greeted the launch of the "oasis" last year. but as jeff yastine reports, could these two huge ships be too much of a good thing for royal caribbean?
>> jeff: when royal caribbean's "oasis of the seas" went into service a year ago, the questions swirled-- would people really pay big bucks in the middle of a recession to travel on the world's biggest cruise ship? chairman and c.e.o. richard fain says that bet has paid off. even now, the ship's passengers pay a premium of 60% or more for rooms, compared to the rest of r.c.l.'s fleet: >> the reception to "oasis" was just unbelievable. we knew it was special, but even we didn't appreciate how well received all the facilities, all the amenities, would be taken by the public. and the result is that, even though she's such a large ship, she's getting not only the best pricing in our company, but in our competitive set. >> jeff: most analysts think those big ticket premiums will continue as the "oasis" is joined by its twin, the "allure of the seas." together, the two ships will
carry a total of 12,000 passengers. i.t.g. investment research analyst matt jacob says bigger really is better, when it comes to this new class of mega ships. but it comes at a cost, soaking up customer demand from r.c.l.'s slightly older ships. >> i think it's been a positive investment for them, because they've been able to get very strong returns on the "oasis" itself. and i think they will on the "allure." it's just that we think maybe>>t it's clear we are now recovering from where we were. and look, even with these kinds of price levels, we can be reporting excellent earnings. and we've said, we think next year could be the best year in our history, even though we're
still not where i'd like the economy to be. >> last year at this time, r.c.l. talked about having to be very aggressive with discounting in short-term bookings-- meaning bookings that were made several weeks, or maybe a month or two in advance. this year, we're not seeing that. we're seeing pricing pretty that's a price gain nearly twice as large as shares of its arch- rival carnival. analysts say with the stock at this level, investors are making a bet: that the u.s. economy will continue to rebound, along with r.c.l.'s fortunes. jeff yastine, "nightly business report," ft. lauderdale. >> susie: speaking of carnival, its "splendor" cruise ship finally docked today in san
diego. its 3,000 passengers spent four days with no electricity, being towed across hundreds of miles of open ocean. the ship was stranded monday when it lost power after a fire. passengers will get a full refund and a free cruise in the future. today's trading was all about the outlook for tech spending. let's get a look with tonight's "market focus." call it the "cisco effect." technology was the worst performing sector on the day because of a disappointing outlook from cisco. financials also under pressure, down almost 1%. worries there about the global economy as the g-20 meeting continues in south korea. energy was the best performing sector with a gain of 1%. halliburton was the standout-- shares up 4%. cisco shares lost almost $4 or 16% in today's trading, its
worst single-day performance in 16 years. the losses just about wipe out the 20% gain the stock has seen since september. behind the selling-- as we reported last night, cisco warned of weaker than expected ut the health of business spending on technology and concerns that more companies and state and local governments will put off computer and network upgrades. the selling in cisco spread through the sector: dell was hit the hardest, down 4%. h-p, ibm, and motorola also moving lower. from tech titans to technology behind netflix. the movie rental service signed on with level 3 communications to handle its online network services. that took level 3 shares to a new level: up almost 9%. wal-mart taking on amazon for
the holidays-- the world's largest retailer is offering free shipping on over 60,000 items on its web site with no minimum purchase requirements. amazon offers free shipping on orders over $25. that wal-mart threat pressured amazon shares, and down they went-- off about $3 or 2%. speaking of shipping, fed-ex came out with its annual holiday forecast. it sees shipping volume up 11% this christmas over last year. december 13 is expected to be a big day-- that's the company's busiest shipping day ever, with an expected 16 million packages moving through its system. despite the upbeat forecast, fed-ex couldn't escape today's selling. its shares fell 50 cents or half a percent. sticking with the transportation theme-- boeing was one of the biggest losers on the dow on word it lost orders for eight of its much delayed 787 dreamliners. the company said those losses
were balanced by a new commitment for 787s from saudi arabian airlines. still, boeing shares down $1.70 or 2.5%. it's down about five bucks since the beginning of the month. viacom said today it's going to sell its popular "rock band" video game franchise. ahead of the sale, it's taking over $250 million in charges. excluding those charges, viacom posted earnings of 75 cents a share, a nickel better than analyst estimates. that earnings beat gave a big boost to viacom's shares: up $1.08 or 3%. dendreon, one of the day's best gainers. the drug maker rose on word a medicare review of the company's provenge prostrate cancer treatment shows the drug can moderately improve outcomes. that could bode well for provenge becoming a medicare approved treatment.
a course of the treatment costs $93,000. dendreon shares rising $1.39 or 4%. and finally, two surprises from disney late this afternoon. investors were expecting disney's latest earnings report after the bell, but the release actually came in the final half hour of the trading day. disney is trying to figure out what happened. the other surprise-- disney's numbers were lower than what analysts were forecasting. the entertainment giant earned 45 cents a share in its fiscal fourth quarter, a penny below estimates. revenues came in $200 lower than revenues came in $200 million lower than expected. disney clearly hurting with consumers watching their spending. shares were down slightly in after hours. during the regular trading, disney shares lost $1.13 or 3%. and that's tonight's "market focus."
>> susie: as the economy struggles to recover, more and more americans are training for new careers at schools and colleges across the country. enrollment at community colleges has been soaring, up almost 17% from two years ago. to cope with that demand, one community college in maryland found a creative solution. anna olson explains. >> reporter: the moon is glowing and campus is quiet, but step inside this classroom at anne arundel community
college... it's 11:58 p.m.-- yes, p.m.-- and intro to psychology is about to begin. student sarah sharp is armed with caffeine and carbs to stay alert. >> i live across the street, so it's like my bed is calling me. >> reporter: like other schools around the country, anne arundel's enrollment has surged in the past few years. classrooms like this one are typically packed during the day. that's what made midnight the right time to offer a new section of intro to psychology. the idea was unconventional, but professor paul vinette jumped at the chance. >> we're all very much encouraged to do things that are entrepreneurial, cutting edge, meeting the student where the student is. and when i thought about this for a minute, i thought, "wow, this could really tap into the market of students who wouldn't typically get to school." >> reporter: like cynthia marshall. she watches her three children during the day, then takes two buses and a train from washington, d.c., to go to
class. it takes hours-- literally, all night-- to get here and back. but she says it's worth it. >> i don't have to worry about my kids rushing me from school. "mom, come on, let's go." no, they don't rush me, because i'm here at night-- 12:00 midnight until 3:00 in the morning. and i really, truly enjoy it. >> reporter: this late night class is also sarah sharp's only time to learn. sharp and her family were permanently injured in a car accident 11 years ago. now, she takes care of her mom and aunt during the day. >> i'm up anyways getting them to bed, so this is my time off, this is my down time. >> we're teaching 63 introduction to psychology classes. >> reporter: matt yeazel runs anne arundel's psychology department. he says the class schedule is all about demand. >> there's a place for this kind of class, for people to take classes at this time, and we will do that. we will do that, begrudgingly or happily. >> reporter: as for those late night classes, professor vinette says they've been surprisingly energetic.
>> i was kind of expecting... expecting me to be-- what's the expression? dragging a dead body through the mud. and that was not the case. it was actually me holding back on the horse reins. students we have in the overnight class are very enthusiastic, and that completely blew me away. >> reporter: registration for next semester begins today. professor vinette is on board for more late night learning, and many of these students hope to be there, too. anna olson, "nightly business report," arnold, maryland. >> susie: tomorrow, anna looks at programs that help students keep tuition low by letting them graduate in three, not four years. here's what else we're watching: quarterly results from j.c. penney, and wendy's/arby's group. our friday "market monitor" he's eugene peroni, senior vice president of advisors asset management. general electric is staying true to its name, buying 25,000 electric vehicles for use as company cars.
the company says it'll buy 12,000 g.m. products, starting with the chevy volt next year. g.e. will also work to convert to electric power at least for half of its current global fleet of 30,000 vehicles. the giant conglomerate has big investments in alternative energy, including battery makers, and wind and solar technologies. metlife will stop offering long- term care insurance. that's the coverage people buy to pay for nursing homes or assisted living facilities. the largest u.s. life insurer will still honor policies of customers, but won't write new ones after december 30. metlife cites what it calls financial challenges for the move. long-term care policies are less profitable for insurers as healthcare costs rise and policyholders live longer.